Running in Baja

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    24 Days and Counting...

    I'll admit to being more nervous about this run than any other. Running in the wilderness it's much easier to romanticize the hazards you might encounter--wild animals, steep cliffs, exposure, extreme weather. I mean, that stuff's cool. But the hazards I'll face on this run are mostly just a drag--18 wheelers, hot hard asphalt, stark raving boredome. I'm mostly fearful of the latter.

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    Go Slow to Go Fast

    Ever since a recent motorcyle trip to Baja California, the words "go slow to go fast" have been cycling through my head like a ticker. After a fifteen-year hiatus from dirt bikes, I went on a week long ride with my brother Scott and cousin Bobby. Both are accomplished riders and Bobby won his division of the Baja 1000 solo (and was fifth overall)--a legendary accomplishment.

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    Burger Run

    Yesterday's functional workout gives new meaning to the term "burger run." Like the normal use of the term, it does involve traveling to a fast food joint to purchase and eat junk. Unlike the colloquial, however, this burger run involved running. Literally. "Okay, Willy," Ray told me in a phone coaching session from his home in Ottawa, "here's what I want you to do. Get up, run to the nearest fast food place, eat a breakfast sandwich. Then run two more hours. Then eat a burger. Then run home."

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    A Fifty Hour Prayer

    Saturday evening after dinner, I drank a couple of beers, watched Saturday Night Live, and then went for a five-hour run that ended just before dawn. After the run, I pounded a coke and a protein drink, showered, and got into bed for a few short hours of sleep with my wife, Beth. Up by mid-morning, we had a big breakfast and went to the Denver Zoo, where we spent the entire day on our feet.

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    Sunday night, over a cigar and a beer, Dr. Shannon Sovndal and I discussed nutrition for my upcoming 200 mile run. Shannon had just returned from the Tour De France, where he was the doctor for second place team, Garmin Slipstream. Clearly, the guy knows his stuff. In addition to serving in Boulder’s busy emergency rooms, Shannon tends to Formula 1 Drivers, elite cyclists, and other athletes, and has authored two well-regarded books on cycling fitness. Shannon is himself an accomplished adrenaline athlete who once told me, following a day of off-road motorcycling, that I must have forgotten my “man pants.” We have not ridden together since.

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